Saturday 08 September, 2012
STOKE Easy Rider Potters moved into third place in the National League table after a hard fought 45 all draw with second placed Mildenhall Fen Tigers at Loomer Road on Saturday night.

The Potters had dropped out of the play off places after Scunthorpe’s victory over Rye House on Friday night leaving the Potters needing at worst a point from the meeting with the Tigers and they duly delivered in a meeting which they were tailing in until the latter part of the meeting.

Mildenhall took the lead early on with a 4-2 from Lewis Blackbird and Aaron Baseby over James Cockle to give the Tigers a 11-13 lead after four heats. The Tigers extended their lead four heats later with a 4-2 from the impressive Daniel Halsey and Stefan Nielsen over Cockle to leave the Potters trailing 23-19 at the midway point of the meeting.

Aaron Baseby took a heavy fall in heat eight after he hit the fence hard resulting in the Tigers reserve being withdrawn from the meeting with an ankle injury, in the rerun Joe Jacobs got the better of Cockle despite a valiant effort from Cockle to overhaul Jacobs Liam Carr finishing third for a drawn heat.

The Potters drew level in heat thirteen at the second time of asking after Jacobs fell while he and partner Lewis Blackbird were trailing the Potters pairing SCB referee Margaret Vardy having no alternative but to stop the race and disqualify Jacobs from the rerun. In the rerun Birks and Cockle made no mistake as they headed home Blackbird for a maximum 5-1 to level the scores at 39 all with two heats remaining.

The Tigers went back in front in heat fourteen with a 4-2 from Halsey and Ryan Terry-Daley over Ben Reade after Liam Carr was disqualified for falling while second at the first running of the heat leaving the Potters needing a 4-2 to at least draw the meeting.

The victory looked on for a short time as Birks and Cockle stormed from the gate but Stefan Nielsen managed to overhaul Cockle to take second place and leave the teams tied at 45-45.

Easy Rider Potters team manager Malcolm Vasey said “An excellent track tonight and terrific performances by both teams. We managed to hang in there throughout the meeting and when the opportunity came later on in the meeting we got level with a tremendous performance from James Cockle who rode extremely well tonight who combined with Ashley Birks in heat thirteen for a 5-1 over Lewis Blackbird. We then fell two points adrift in heat fourteen and then low and behold in heat fifteen we were on a 5-1 and you think we’re going to win but unfortunately it was not to be and we just took the 4-2 so it ended up a draw which I would think will put us in the play offs but we’re not sure at the moment as the authorities are talking about extended the cut off date so we will have to wait and see. We do have a better points average which is worth a point in itself and moves us into third place so tonight is a valuable point for us, the lads really did try their best and I feel a draw was a fair result as we had some bad luck as did they.”

STOKE 45: Ashley Birks 13, James Cockle 11+1, Ben Reade 7+2, Tony Atkin 6, Liam Carr 5+3, Liam Rumsey 3+3, Richard Andrews R/R.
MILDENHALL 45: Lewis Blackbird 13, Daniel Halsey 11, Stefan Nielsen 8+2, Joe Jacobs 8, Aaron Baseby 4, Ryan Terry Daley 1, Cameron Heeps R/R.